The neighbourhood watch has evolved with the times, as more residents are embracing technology to step up their surveillance game. There’s less reliance on foot patrol groups, and more on high-tech tools that make it easier to keep neighbourhoods safer. Here’s how neighbourhood watches are going modern.


When residents are sleeping, outdoor cameras that can withstand all types of weathers can offer 24/7 surveillance. Many weatherproof cameras have night vision to provide a detailed recording of everything that’s happening within its view. Some cameras will even send alerts to a designated person when it detects any movement, allowing the resident to determine if it’s a false alarm or not. Residents can easily access the streams through web browsers on their computers; if an incident occurs, residents will have instant video footage to share with law enforcement.


Many people rely on Google Maps to get around, but they’re also handy when it comes to planning foot patrol assignments for neighbourhood watches. Several police services have even developed their own neighbourhood maps indicating the number of criminal occurrences within a given district. This allows residents to better understand what types of crimes typically occur in their area.


Closed groups on Facebook allow residents to privately share photos or updates of any suspicious activity they’ve witnessed on their street. Access is restricted to authorized members only, and suspicious activity can be shared as soon as they happen, so residents don’t have to wait until the next meeting to warn their neighbours.


Outdoor lights that turn on as soon as they detect motion have been proven to effectively thwart intruders. That’s why some residents have banded together to install these outdoor lights as a way to reduce crime in their neighbourhoods. Some of these lights are so advanced they can detect body heat using infrared rays. That way, something as innocuous as a branch falling off a tree won’t trigger the system.